DECEMBER 29, 2000 • HOUSTON VOICE
The AIDS Clinical Trials Unit is seeking HIV+ volunteers for a
clinical research trial evaluating the safety and effectiveness
of an experimental extended release formulation of Zerit®
(d4T) versus the approved formulation. Study treatment
(Zerit®, Epivir, and Sustiva) is provided for 56 weeks.
To be eligible for this study, you must meet these basic requirements:
• Viral load is 2,000 copies or more
• CD4 cell count is 75 or more
• Antiretroviral naive (30 days or less of any prior anti-HIV drug therapy)
To find out more about study participation, please contact
Bill Silkowski, RN at 409-747-0200 or toll free: 1-877-324-2288
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
the- skAM vjvu'ye- in?
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Housion, TX 77008
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around the world
Lesbians make better parents than heterosexuals, Australian researcher says
MELBOURNE—An Australian pioneer in in vitro fertilization technology has published a
study suggesting that lesbians make better parents than heterosexuals, the Melbourne Herald Sun
reported. Car! Wood's paper, published in the journal Australian Medicine, uses American
research which found that the children of lesbian couples are more tolerant of diversity and more
socially skilled. Children of lesbians were also found to suffer far less parental sexual and physical
abuse and incest than their peers. "Women are more verbally fluent than males, so with two
women bringing up a child, it has a greater chance of developing better conversation skills," Wood
said. "The children of lesbians in the studies also had a broader view of life." Australian Family
Association national secretary Bill Muehlenberg disagreed with Wood, saying that the great weight
of studies suggested any combination other than a man and woman—preferably married—
harmed the child. "These children will do less well on almost every social indicator—school performance, suicide rates, drug involvement and criminal involvement," Muehlenberg said.
Gays could benefit as U.K. looks to liberalize adoption guidelines
LONDON—Tony Blair's Labor government has announced plans to liberalize adoption
rules, including easing restrictions on adoptions by gay men and lesbians, in hopes of
increasing the number of adoptions by 50 percent, the London Times reported. "In far too
many parts of the system there is a lack of clarity, consistency and fairness. Most pressing-
ly, children in an already vulnerable position are being badly let down," says a report the
government plans to release this week. The Times reported that the changes will not likely
give gay couples full parity with married couples. Other changes in eligibility for adoption
include allowing couples over 35 to adopt, allowing couples who are overweight or who
smoke to adopt, and easing adoption procedures for mixed-race couples. Government officials hope to increase adoptions by nearly a third, to 3,000 a year, and ease the backlog of
2,000 children who are transferred between foster homes every year.
Number of gays seeking asylum in U.S. grows as qualifications broadened
FT. LAUDERDALE—The number of gay men and lesbians seeking political asylum is growing rapidly, especially in the South Florida region, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported. The
increase inspired South Florida immigration attorneys to create a chapter of the New York-based
Lesbian & Gay Immigration (Rights Task Force to help gays dealing with immigration matters.
"These people have just been showing up on our doorsteps," said Clark Reynolds, executive
director of the Dade Human Rights Foundation. "We had no idea this was such a huge problem." In 1990 Congress quietly removed sexual orientation as a disqualification for U.S. admission. In 1994, Attorney General Janet Reno clarified that persecution based on sexual orientation
can be considered grounds for asylum, and in August, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
overturned a ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeal that had denied asylum to Mexican
transsexual Geovanni Hernandez-Montiel. But U.S. immigration law still prohibits HIV-positive
immigrants from entering the country.
BBC relaxes ban on discussing that former minister's sexual orientation
LONDON—The BBC has relaxed its ban on
mentioning the sexual orientation of a former
government minister who was outed, the
Guardian reported. BBC journalists were outraged when Ann Sloman, the agency's chief
political adviser, told editorial staff in a
September 1998 memo that "the allegation" that
Peter Mandelson is gay should not be repeated
during broadcasts. Mandelson, who was serving as Northern Ireland secretary when he was
outed, was openly living with a partner at the
time. Journalists and politicians had accused
the BBC of caving in to Mandelson's demands
and affording him special treatment. The
revised policy says that basic guidelines—that
public figures are in a special position but retain
their right to a private life—remains the same.
But "sensible editorial judgments should be applied in the light of changed circumstances."
African AIDS vaccine tests delayed pending government approval
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP)—Trials of the first AIDS vaccine specifically designed for Africa,
slated to begin this week, have been delayed until early next year. Kenya's Health Minister
Sam Ongeri said the government approval process is not complete, and that the trials will not
begin until early next year. The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, which has been working on two vaccines it hopes will immunize people against HIV, is currently testing the vaccines on a small number of volunteers in England. None of the volunteers have displayed
adverse effects from the vaccines, said Andrew McMichael of the Medical Research Council.
In primates, the two vaccines combined have boosted the immune response. But it will take
up to five years before it is known whether vaccines actually work on humans, and several
____ — more t0 reach the general population, McMichael
RUM For more news visit Mid "There ls tremendous urgency in getting the
Higirn WWW.h0USt0nv6ice.C0m vaccine trials to go forward," he said. ^^
■MfiBi . >n staff iiticl wire report*
The BBC's policy on not broadcasting reports
that Peter Mandelson, a former government
minister, is gay has been revised to account
for 'changed circumstances/